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Life Lines


A book that humanises 4 familiar Gospel stories

 

Each of us, at sometime in our life, needs help or care. But none of us wants to be treated as a mere 'case' on someone else's job list. Let's all remember that when we're the ones providing the help. I'm sure that Jesus didn't regard the people he healed as anything less than real people. But it's easy to read the stories of his healing miracles without appreciating the full humanity of the people who received healing. The New Testament gives scant information about most of them; but Life Lines fills in the blanks.

Author, Don Gee, didn't have privileged historical data about the people he wrote about in this book. It's a work of fiction - but it's credible fiction. He has constructed biographies for the main characters in four familiar gospel stories, and for a few others whose lives may have touched them. Taken as walk-on parts in the story of Jesus, they could be perceived as mere 'cases'. But Don's skilful narrative humanises them.

Life Lines is an enjoyable read. It's not a book you can easily put down halfway through a story. But the book also offers practical lessons on two fronts. Firstly, it reminds us to think of people in a wholesome way - to remember that, however briefly we may encounter them, each person we meet has a unique life story. Secondly, 'Life Lines' teaches us a valuable way of using scripture - by engaging our imagination. Rather than skimming the surface of Bible stories or, at the other extreme, analysing them intellectually, we can bring life to the story by imagining the scene as if we were there.

This book vitalises four well-known stories - the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe - the lame man whose friends lowered him through a hole in the roof - the Roman centurion who sought healing for his servant - and the man who was born blind. If you read their stories in "Life Lines", you'll come to love those people more - and you'll never again see them as mere 'cases'.

© Derrick Phillips 2017

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